A Time for Every Season

For several years as I was growing up our family went camping on weekends in the summer. There are so many fabulous memories from that time – the packing and unloading of camping gear, sleeping in the tent, meals cooked outdoors and tasting better than they ever did at home. Family time, hiking, swimming, fishing, canoeing. I realize more and more just what a gift that time was. 

Many Labor Day weekends were spent at a camp ground, and sometimes that was the last camp out for that season, although there were a few fall camp outs, too. But Labor Day seemed to signal the end of summer and the beginning of fall… just as it does to so many of us even now.

Yesterday we spent several hours at our church picnic, hosted by a wonderful couple at their farm in the country.  I noticed that as the people began to leave, the young children were just hanging on to every moment, not wanting to tear away from the sand, the water, the campfire and the s’mores, the carefree fun of summer. 

I so remember doing that very thing myself.

I took several photos at the picnic, but this one keeps calling to me. Yesterday evening I kept hearing in my mind the words to a song from Fiddler on the Roof, “Sunrise, Sunset”. The phrase I heard was “one season following another, laden with happiness and tears…” It’s a song sung by the parents of the bride, seeing her with the groom as they exchange vows, and wondering how these children could have grown. Where did the time go?

Where did the summer go?

The seasons move, we live and have our being within those seasons, we change, we grow, we age. We see our children grow into adults, putting away the toys of their youth in exchange for more ‘grown up’ things.  Yet deep within us all is that little kid that wants to be carefree, playful, not have a care in the world.  How do we honor that need to re-create in this day and age?

I see this canoe pulled to shore, the many footprints created by little and not-so-little feet, the cute blue plastic shovel that created numerous castles in that sand…and I want to remember. I want to recall that for a few hours, seemingly suspended in time, we played on that shore, and paddled in that canoe on still waters. We refreshed our souls with the fellowship of people we have known for years, creating memories, building relationships.

We have ended one season filled with fun and happiness, greeting a new one filled with promise.

(This post is part of the Find Your Eye Course assignment called “Intuitive Photojournaling”. We were asked to choose an image and write what comes to mind. This was challenging, but it is also something I really enjoy doing.)

11 Replies to “A Time for Every Season”

  1. Deb,
    Your story brought back wonderful memories of my own childhood. Each summer "the gang" (five families of close friends) would spend a week in cabins at the state park. Days filled with swimming, boating, fishing, softball games. Night filled with campfires, roasted marshmallows, games, singing, FUN. Precious, precious memories. Thank you for bringing them back.

  2. This is such a great post! We used to camping when I was a child. Lot's of memories from those great times!! Love your photo! Such great composition!!

  3. I loved your past stories and the picture. My summer's as a child were always filled with tag, baseball, swimming, riding bikes and more. The days seemed to last forever and so did the season. Now I find that summer just blows right by. Thankful that I take the time to enjoy the nature around me and taking pictures of it all.
    I am excited for fall to arrive again since that is my favorite season. All the color and crisp air makes me happy and full of life.
    Thanks for sharing this with us and your beautiful words were just what I needed to hear.

  4. Deb, your image and your words so perfectly capture the end-of-summer and the nostalgia of years gone by. There is something so poignant about that blue shovel, left behind. There is much emotion and heart in this entry, we can all feel it and responded to it with our own memories, I can tell by the comments. Photojournaling at its best – touching heart and soul!

  5. Ah, the sweetness of the end of summer….I also remember it well from my childhood. Your photo is a wonderful image for your theme! My end of summer has been "laden with happiness and tears" — I now have a new grandson to help fill the hole in my heart left by my Mom's recent passing. Yes, the seasons pass so quickly and the circle continues.

  6. Your thoughts resonate so with me. While I didn't camp, the feeling is the same and I find each year around the later part of August a little depression sinking in. Carefree-the summer does feel that way, even when it is not.
    Time is so precious, yet I know I waste it over and over again and then am frustrated with myself for doing so.
    I hope I don't end up singing that song all day-it is one that can get stuck in the head, because it is full of such wisdom.
    I hope your summer was fabulous and that fall surprises you with something wonderful.

  7. Wonderful post and photo! Your words and photograph definitely illustrate the end of summer nostalgia most people feel this time of year. Just lovely. 🙂

  8. Deborah, I love this photo and your beautiful post. I have to say it stirred up memories for me, too, a sad sort of nostalgia. Past memories are sometimes not so great…but I can make better ones now, and I do!

  9. You've captured so well that for many of us autumn is a time of new beginnings, often more significant than the calendar's new year. And yet, starting something new necessarily means ending something old. I especially like your comparison between seasons ending and how children grow up and change. Both are bittersweet experiences.

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